Purpose: To examine serum levels of GGT activity and biomarkers of iron metabolism in relation to parameters of bone and mineral metabolism in elderly patients with and without osteoporotic bone fractures in the absence of overt liver diseases.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study of 416 older (>60 years) patients (168 subjects with hip fracture, 89 with other fractures of the peripheral skeleton and 160 without any fracture; mean age 78.9 ± 8.7 years; 282 women) we simultaneously measured serum levels of two bone formation markers (osteocalcin, OC; procollagen type 1 Nterminal propeptide, P1NP), bone resorption marker (β- isomerised carboxy-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen, βCTX), their ratios (PINP/OC, PINP/βCTX, OC/βCTX), 25(OH) vitamin D, PTH, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, GGT activity, other liver function tests and indices of iron metabolism (serum ferritin, iron, transferrin and transferrin saturation [TSAT]).
Results: Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated significant bidirectional links between P1NP and GGT, P1NP/OC ratio and GGT, P1NP and TSAT, OC and ferritin, GGT and ferritin. GGT, ferritin and TSAT were independent indicators of βCTX, while ferritin and TSAT were also independent predictors of the P1NP/OC ratio, and TSAT was an independent predictor of the P1NP/βCTX ratio. In multivariate regression, P1NP, βCTX, P1NP/βCTX ratio, ferritin, magnesium and age were independent indicators of fracture.
Conclusions: The study highlighted the bidirectional links between serum GGT activity, indices of iron and bone metabolism and the role of GGT and iron homeostasis in maintaining bone health and identified indicators for osteoporotic fractures. The GGT- and iron-related factors contributing to bone integrity warrant further investigations.
Leon Fisher and Alexander Fisher